Try Our Apps


Famous Last Words


[mahr-vuh l] /ˈmɑr vəl/
something that causes wonder, admiration, or astonishment; a wonderful thing; a wonder or prodigy:
The new bridge is an engineering marvel.
Archaic. the feeling of wonder; astonishment.
verb (used with object), marveled, marveling or (especially British) marvelled, marvelling.
to wonder at (usually followed by a clause as object):
I marvel that you were able to succeed against such odds.
to wonder or be curious about (usually followed by a clause as object):
A child marvels that the stars can be.
verb (used without object), marveled, marveling or (especially British) marvelled, marvelling.
to be filled with wonder, admiration, or astonishment, as at something surprising or extraordinary:
I marvel at your courage.
Origin of marvel
1250-1300; Middle English mervel < Old French merveil(l)e < Late Latin mīrābilia marvels, noun use of neuter plural of Latin mīrābilis marvelous. See admirable
Related forms
marvelment, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for marvelling
Historical Examples
  • I'm only marvelling at the leaps and bounds with which your education has gone forward.

    Red-Robin Jane Abbott
  • All were marvelling at his dignity, courage, and generosity.

    Burlesques William Makepeace Thackeray
  • I turned and shook hands with Joyce, marvelling at the likeness between the two sisters.

    The Sixth Sense Stephen McKenna
  • Plunger nodded, marvelling at the accuracy of the brethren's information.

    The Hero of Garside School J. Harwood Panting
  • Hopeless themselves of relief, till Death, marvelling, closed on them.

    A Diversity of Creatures Rudyard Kipling
  • She sighed, marvelling at this addition to life's conundrums.

    No Clue James Hay
  • Even here I could never grow weary of marvelling at his sense of effect, and his great ease of execution.

  • "Yes," said the clerk, marvelling at such ignorance of a common fact.

    Sister Carrie Theodore Dreiser
  • In it sat a man wrapped in his cloak, marvelling greatly at the lights in the houses, and the sounds of festivity and joy.

  • When the Hyrcanians heard this they led the way as he ordered, marvelling at his strength of soul.

    Cyropaedia Xenophon
British Dictionary definitions for marvelling


verb -vels, -velling, -velled (US) -vels, -veling, -veled
when intr, often foll by at or about; when tr, takes a clause as object. to be filled with surprise or wonder
something that causes wonder
(archaic) astonishment
Word Origin
C13: from Old French merveille, from Late Latin mīrābilia, from Latin mīrābilis, from mīrārī to wonder at
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for marvelling



c.1300, "to be filled with wonder," from Old French merveillier "to wonder at, be astonished," from merveille (see marvel (n.)). Related: Marveled; marveling.



c.1300, "miracle," also "wonderful story or legend," from Old French merveille "a wonder, surprise, miracle," from Vulgar Latin *miribilia (also source of Spanish maravilla, Portuguese maravilha, Italian maraviglia), altered from Latin mirabilia "wonderful things," from neuter plural of mirabilis "wonderful, marvelous, extraordinary; strange, singular," from mirari "to wonder at," from mirus "wonderful" (see smile). A neuter plural treated in Vulgar Latin as a feminine singular. Related: Marvels.


c.1300, "to be filled with wonder," from Old French merveillier "to wonder at, be astonished," from merveille (see marvel (n.)). Related: Marveled; marveling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for marvel

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for marvelling

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for marvelling